PLAYING THE DEVIL by R.J.  Lee

PLAYING THE DEVIL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A Mississippi reporter investigates the murder of a victim nobody mourns.

Hooray for Wendy Winchester. She has a simpatico new boss, and she’s managed to start a bridge club at the Rosalie Country Club after the previous quartet she was hoping to play with were all murdered (Grand Slam Murders, 2019, etc.) in a case she helped her father, Capt. Bax, and her boyfriend, Ross Rierson, solve. The new director, Deedah Hornesby, is trying to broaden the club’s appeal, much to the disgust of obnoxious ex-jock Brent Ogle, who’s already furious that she hired a female golf pro. The first meeting of the bridge group—Wendy; Deedah; her son, Hollis Hornesby; and Brent’s wife, Carly—seems to be off to a good start until a storm rolls in, the lights go out, and Brent is found dead in the hot tub. Before retiring to the tub, Brent had had a nasty fight with his two golf partners, Tip Jarvis and Connor James, over an ancient football game in which Brent was the quarterback, the rival team lost, and the time on the clock may have been changed to give Brent the chance for a last-second touchdown. Now that someone’s smashed in Brent’s head with the bartender’s pestle, the eight people in the club at the time are prime suspects. Even the bartender, Carlos Galbis, was constantly picked on by the racist, sexist, homophobic Brent, an equal opportunity hater. Mystified by a crime that took place in the dark, Bax invites Wendy to use her considerable sleuthing talents to help him while pursuing her story for the newspaper. Everyone Wendy interviews comes across as innocent, but an idea she borrows from the rules of bridge helps her pinpoint the guilty party.

A brainy heroine, quirky characters, a thorny mystery, and insights into small-town Southern life combine for a pleasing read.

Pub Date: Jan. 28th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-4967-1916-4
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Kensington
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2019